|Reference ID: DFW663358|
|Recreational Opportunities Submission Type: Public|
Puget Sound Region Marine
|Species covered in proposed rule|
|Rule to Change:|
Willapa River closes to steelhead fishing March 31.
|New Rule Proposal:|
Keep Willapa River open to steelhead fishing till April 15.
|Why the change is needed:|
There is not a significant mortality with small river tactics this time of year on the Willapa River native steelhead. The river has the largest number of steelhead in the system at the close and can provide a wonderful recreational catch and release fishery with minimal impact.
|Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:|
Cody Duncan, Isaac Fu, Joe Townley, Tyler Duncan, Jim Jansen, Rich Hilliker, and Jacob Waunch.
|Describe their support and/or concerns:
No input given
|Submitted by: WALKER, RICHARD R — CHEHALIS, WA|
Date submitted: 05/11/2012
Reference ID: DFW663358
The escapement trend of Willapa Bay, and the Willapa River, steelhead during the past ten years is declining. Extending a season is not a conservative management decision for a declining population.
PORTMANN, CHRIS October 31, 2012
Several empirical studies indicate that there is considerable mortality with catch and release fishing. The wild run on this river is already in danger and extending the season would only exacerbate the damage. Additionally, an open season, with little to no enforcement, would make it very easy for poachers to catch and kill wild fish on this isolated stream. If anything, the Willapa should close on the last day of February like several similar-sized streams in the state.
RINGLEE, CHRISTOPHER D January 08, 2013
GIG HARBOR, WA
Is the Willapa system wild steelhead still a species of concern requiring a shortened season? This was addressed last year by WDFW in the coastal stream strategy and after a 20 year data set, declaring the Willapa system depressed. Questions arose regarding the original determination of the escapement goals and based off WDFW escapement goals in Willapa Bay, the system should be the most productive area in the state by far.
Has any further data been collected or analyzed describing WDFW's stance to the rule proposal and the coastal stream strategy that limits wild steelhead fishing in the basin? I'm a firm supporter of protecting wild steelhead and believe systems should be closed on depressed runs, but nothing has really changed over the entire data set showing a large scale decline and is in fact doing better than systems to the north that allow wild steelhead retention and are considered "HEALTHY" by WDFW.